2018 Reflection!

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This year has been another roller-coaster ride; filled with ups and downs and twists and turns. But despite some of the more heartbreaking events of this year, we felt we couldn't end it without looking back and saying thank you for all that we have learnt, for all the amazing opportunities we have been given, for the moments that filled our hearts with joy, and for the dreams that became reality.

Day 24 - Story Advent Calendar.

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Advent Calendar 24th December.

Day 23 - Story Advent Calendar.

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Advent Calendar 23rd December.

Mangia: Pandoro French Toast.



It's that time of year again when our Nanna and Grandad's living room floor is littered with boxes of Pandoro and Panettone, and it goes without saying, we adore it!!! Every year our Nanna gives us one each and every year we pretty much demolish the one we have been gifted all by ourselves. Yes, that is how much we love this cake.

Finding Self-love.


"Self-love is so important. Because when you find yourself crying on that bathroom floor whether it's three am or five in the afternoon, who is going to be there for you? You. You have to pick yourself up and find the strength to move on. At the end of the day, you're all you've got."


Book Review: Love Rekindled at Christmas. Charity Anthology.


You know me and my Historical Romances. I say yes to any chance I get to read them and am so happy that I was introduced to their world. There's something about them that's warm, cosy and inviting; that makes me curl up and relax and forget about everything else I may be overthinking about. 

Mangia: Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli.


Like elves at Christmas time when we cooked with Grandad there was always a production line, starting in the kitchen and floating out in to the dining room. We all had our stations and would listen closely to what Grandad was instructing us to do. Sometimes we would try our hand at what someone else was doing, wanting to know it all, but more often than not we would take great pride in making sure we were doing the task we had been given to the best of our ability.

Prosecco on a Tuesday!


Are you a stickler for routine? Are you a wait for the weekend kind of person? Do you have a 'I can't believe it's only Tuesday' kind of attitude? Do you constantly wish it was Friday? To be fair we feel we've all been there; counting down for a holiday, wishing the minutes away till a specific event. But our question now is why??? Why wait?

Book Review: Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh.

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There’s something about Portia MacIntosh that makes me feel like, over the years of reading her books, that I’m her best friend! It could be the fact that her stories stay with me and while I’m reading them I always feel like I have made a kick ass new friend, or that she never lets me down with her books, or that her writing always speaks to me, or the fact that she always has me in stitches, I can’t quite pinpoint it exactly, so let’s just say it’s a combination of all these reasons and probably a couple more too.

Mangia: Carrot and Sambuca Cake.


Do you remember those moments in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' where the Dad likes to point out that the Greeks invented everything? Well, when it comes to food, Grandad liked to point out on the daily how the Italians do it best and can make it better. He would shrug in the cutest way and say 'What can I do?' like he didn't make the rules, like it was just simply a fact that nothing quite compares to Italian food.

Changing the channel.


"I'm here in this moment to tell you that you are beautiful and that you have everything you need." - Russell Brand.

Book Review: Second Chance at The Ranch by Maxine Morrey.


Be prepared for me to gush, gush and gush some more when it comes to 'Second Chance at The Ranch' by the wonderful Maxine Morrey. But first let me introduce you to this beautiful read with the blurb and a little more info from Amazon:


Mangia: Pancakes with Mascarpone Frosting.


Looking at the picture, our pancakes probably seem more like Crepes, but this had always been what we considered a pancake until we went to America. Every pancake day, every time Grandad made Cannelloni, every time Grandad just felt like making them, this is what we had.

Why I Wake Up Early.

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"The time just before dawn contains the most energy of all hours of the day. This has helped me become an early riser and an early doer." 

Terri Guillemets 

Book Review: The Warrior's Bride Prize by Jenni Fletcher.

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Every time I pick up a book by Jenni Fletcher and I read her short biography at the front, I feel incredibly inspired. It makes me happy that no matter how many jobs Jenni had before, or how many years she got distracted by reading instead of writing, the fact that she eventually did put her stories down on paper, means you should never give up on your dreams. There is no time frame on achieving them, you just have to do it. Do you know why I can tell you that with 100% certainty? Because Jenni Fletcher was meant to write books. One way or another she had to get pen to paper, because we’re all better off for it. Honestly, my other thought is usually “Why did it take her so long, she’s so flipping good?!” ;p 

Mangia: Pastina.

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We're coming at you this foodie Friday with one of our absolute 'go to' recipes. A recipe taken from 'How to Bake a New Beginning' and also our family cookbook. Forget packet baby food! From the moment, and probably before, we were able to eat solid food, Pastina has been on our menu, courtesy of our Nanna and Grandad of course. These days you can keep your chicken soup for when your feeling poorly or your mac and cheese in times of comfort. For us it's all about Pastina. 

Inside the mind of a writer.


I absolutely adore tucking myself away in my office or curling up on my couch to write the day away. It's my favourite thing. Often times when i'm writing the thoughts that go through my head amuse me and on occasion they drive me mad.

Book Review: A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley.


It's been a while since I had a review for you. I feel like I am forever saying that, but I promise I am working my way through my TBR pile and have lots of amazing books to share with you in the coming weeks. This week it's all about 'A Christmas Date.' Who else is starting to get just a little bit excited about Christmas?

Mangia: Polpette. (Meatballs)

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One of the very first things we made entirely on our own, in our own kitchens, 4000 miles away from home, at twenty one years of age, was Meatballs. Yes, our Grandad trained us well.

Meet the men from 'How To Bake A New Beginning.'


My debut novel; 'How to Bake a New Beginning' is officially out and it still feels very surreal. I've had plenty of nerves fluttering around in my stomach for the past few months hoping you all will enjoy it. But there has been a ton of excitement to as I anticipate each reader meeting the characters I love. Over the past few years I have definitely built a little bond with Amanda, Sabrina and Louisa and I don't think a day has gone by where I don't think of something they are up to or what they should be doing next; hence my need for always carrying a notebook around, stay tuned. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting their worlds and feel a huge sense of contentment when I disappear in them.

Book Review: Coming Home To Maple Cottage by Holly Martin.

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There is something very reassuring about picking up a book by Holly Martin. Anything and everything could be happening in the real world, but you know that when you dive into her stories, that you will be able to escape to a beautiful Island, Town or Village, catch up with old friends and melt in the arms of a dashing farmer, art sculpture or firework technician! Holly brings to life small town charm and the magic of falling in love effortlessly.

Book Review: The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley.


Release Date: 4th October 2018
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @catherinetinley

Today is my day on Catherine Tinely's blog tour and I couldn't be more excited. If I had to use one word to describe The Makings of A Lady, I would say Adventure! It's a one wild adventure from start to finish - I was constantly on the edge of my seat! 

Book Review: Dear Mr Popstar


Release date: 20th September 2018
Publisher: Unbound
Twitter: @derekphilpott

I think the concept behind 'Dear Mr Pop Star' is so much fun that I was very excited to delve into it. I love learning about meanings behind songs and often think how amazing it would be to sit with artists and discuss what inspired them. Of course, this book is done with a more humorous twist. I pinched the blurb from Amazon to explain the idea behind this book a little better:

Book Review: My Wanderlust Bites the Dust by Eliza Watson.


Release Date: 4th June 2018
Publisher: Elizabeth Watson
Twitter: @elizasbooks

The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw series, is a gift that keeps on giving. It's everything you could possibly want for a book series, the best part being: it isn't over yet! :) Isn't that every book lovers dream? Finding a series you love and getting to the end, only to find there will be more adventures with your new found best friends soon? 

Book Review: The Summer House of Happiness by Daisy James


Release date: 31st May 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks

Daisy James always makes me smile. I adore her books and The Summer House of Happiness is another one of hers that I can tick off my list and place in the heartwarming, hug a book pile. 

A blessing not a curse.


We did a post not too long ago for the #dolcevitabloggers about Italian culture shock. There wasn't much about Italy that shocked us with us having grown up with Italian Grandparents, so instead we wrote about traits we feel we possess because of our Italian blood. We forgot a very important one, which I wanted to talk about today...

EBook Publication Day Party: Thank you!!


This past Saturday evening felt like Christmas Eve for me. After an evening of toasting marshmallows and watching movies with my sisters, I got in to bed feeling somewhat in wonder of what Sunday would bring.

Book Review: How To Bake A New Beginning by Lucy Knott.


                           Release Date: 9th September (Kindle)
Publisher: HQ Digital
                                Twitter: @lucycknott @theblossomtwins

I've probably said this next sentence over 50 times in the last few months and I know I've got plenty more left in me: I am so, so incredibly proud of my sister. Can you believe I'm actually sat here writing a book review for her DEBUT BOOK? Actually I can believe it!